It is essential for the text to come from one computer. If authors produce text in different formats, in different house styles, the cost of making them consistent can easily add to more than the sales income from the book. If you are thinking of preparing an anthology, it’s essential to give the contributors good briefing notes before they start writing.
When different contributors work on different computers, often using earlier files produced on a different one again, all with their own electronic encryptions, it’s impossible to format them into one file without losing or corrupting anything.
It does not matter if the contributions have been published before. But check that the contributors have the right to reuse them. We need non-exclusive, world English-language rights. "Non-exclusive" means that we place no restrictions on the contributors’ rights to reuse the essay elsewhere. Queries we receive for reprinting essays elsewhere are passed back to the contributor.
For copyright: the standard is to have a line on the copyright page of the book "Text copyright individual contributors."
Editing an anthology involves balancing a series of contradictions. The subject needs to be niche-driven enough so that you can reach your readers, but not so specialized that your audience is too limited.
You may want to find a balance of views, of gender, racial or ethnic perspectives. Different schools of writing, or younger and more established writers.
A short paragraph about each contributor’s qualifications to write is usually helpful, preferably at the beginning of the book. Each note should have roughly the same amount and type of information as the others.
Check that the contributions clearly connect to the main theme. Can it be referred to in the Introduction in a way that supports the theme?
If the anthology is of true stories, do check that they are true in so far as you can, particularly dates and places. Contributors of such stories need the permission of the people involved in the story.
Send the contributions in their final form back to the contributors for review. Then it is not necessary to send them proofs.
We send a free copy to contributors if they are asked for, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Encourage the contributors to mention the book to their mailing lists, blog on their website about it, ask the local library/bookshop to stock the book etc.
We do not split author royalties with contributors. The transaction costs and bank charges are almost certain to be too high. If they need payment, it is up to you to negotiate a fee from your royalty income, or to pay it outright. Do not rely on royalty income to cover what you commit to spend.
Here is a standard publishing agreement to use with contributors:
Anthology Publishing Agreement
This Anthology Publishing Agreement (the “Agreement) is entered into and is effective this ___th day of 2013 by and between (NAME OF EDITOR) , an individual residing at (Address) (hereinafter referred to as “Contractor/Editor), on the one hand and ____________________________________________________________ individual residing at _____________________________________________________________________________ (hereinafter referred to as “Author”), on the other hand, upon the following terms and conditions:
1. Author’s Grant.
Author grants permission to include his/her essay or radio show transcript, entitled: ________________________________________________________________________
with accompanying images, if applicable, hereinafter referred to as the Work, in an anthology tentatively titled (NAME OF ANTHOLOGY), an Anthology contracted between Contractor/Editor and John Hunt Publishing. Hereinafter referred to as the Publisher, for publication on terms solely between the Contractor/Editor and Publisher.
2. Rights Purchased.
The use of the Work by the Contractor/Editor and, by extension, the Publisher, entails the assignment of First World Anthology Rights, both in the English language and in translation anywhere in the world, and its clothbound, paperback, book club, reprint, ebook, electronic and Braille editions of the anthology. It is also understood and agreed that the Contractor/Editor and the Publisher may use this Work only in the above-mentioned anthology and reprintings of it, and that the Author shall retain all other rights to the Work not specified here. Publisher shall have the right to reproduce excerpts or quotations from the Work as it sees fit in conjunction with marketing and/or publicity efforts tied to the anthology.
For the above-mentioned rights granted to the Editor/Contractor and her chosen Publisher, Author will receive one complimentary copy of the Anthology from the Editor/Contractor upon publication, upon request. This recompense represents the Author’s full payment. In further consideration, Author may purchase additional copies of the Publication at a 50% discount.
4. Author’s Warranties and Indemnities.
Author represents and warrants that he/she is the sole author(s) of the Work, and that the Work is original and that no one has reserved the rights granted in this agreement. Author confirms that if this is new or re-purposed material, it is free from copyright restraints and Author has the authority to permit it to be printed in this anthology.
Author also represents, to the best of his/her knowledge, that the Work does not contain any libelous material, and is not in violation of any rights of privacy or any other rights of third persons, and does not violate any existing common law or statutory copyrights.
Author agrees to hold the Contractor/Editor and/or Publisher harmless against any judgement finally sustained that the Work contains libel, plagiarism and/or invasion of privacy.
Author agrees not to publish or permit others to publish this Work in any form prior to its publication and appearance in the above-named anthology.
If Author publishes or permits others to publish this Work in any form after the appearance of the anthology, Author shall attempt to ensure that proper credit be given by listing or causing to list the title, Editor, Publisher and other pertinent publication information of this Anthology in which the Work was first published in any and all future reprinting or repurposing of the Work.
6. Changes in Text or Title.
Contractor/Editor agrees to make reasonable efforts to notify Author in advance of any editorial changes in the title and/or text of the Work, and to secure Author’s approval for any such changes whenever possible. Author agrees that such approval will not be unreasonably withheld. Publisher shall at all times retain the right of final approval over all elements of the Work.
Publisher will furnish Editor/Contractor with copyedited manuscript of the Work. Editor/Contractor will contact Author with any changes or queries which Editor/Contractor is not able to answer for the Publisher herself. Author agrees to return the copyedited ms with correction in not more than fourteen (14) days from receipt thereof. All such suggestions for revisions and corrections shall be subject to Publisher’s absolute approval.
7. Reversion of Rights
In the event that the Publisher does not publish the above-mentioned anthology within 24 months of signing a Publication Agreement with Contractor/Editor, rights revert to Author.
Publisher will insert a notice on the copyright page that the text is copyright to the individual contributors.
9. Author’s Credit
The Author will be credited on the table of contents page and at the beginning of the story.
10. This agreement shall be deemed executed under English law.
I understand and agree to the terms herein:
Author’s email: ___________________________________
If Author requests complimentary copy of anthology, provide mailing address below:
Please keep one copy for your files and SIGN AND RETURN ONE COPY IN THE SELF ADDRESSED ENVELOPE PROVIDED.
THANK YOU for contributing your essay, art or our transcribed radio show conversation to this Anthology.